Home > Wright with Benefits (Wright Series #8)(3)

Wright with Benefits (Wright Series #8)(3)
Author: K.A. Linde

“We can reschedule. I don’t want you to lose business. We need to keep small businesses around for the sake of our economy.”

She laughed softly. “Says the man who is a executive at Wright Construction?”

“Absolutely,” he agreed. “We started out as a small business.”

Oh God, I could not stay for the business-talk foreplay.

“Well, great,” I said, running a hand back through my now-hopelessly-tangled red hair. “That might solve our problem. You’re just our knight in shining armor, aren’t you?” I said with just enough saccharine sweetness for him to second-guess my sincerity.

Jordan’s eyes shot up to mine. Calculating and defensive. I saw all the things he wanted to say run through him like a window to his soul. But then he seemed to remember Sophia standing there—his not-quite date, just like I was his not-quite ex—and he decided to let it go.

He smiled brilliantly. Blindingly. “I’d be happy to help. I’d hate for the whole party to go without wine.”

“I’d really appreciate that,” Sophia said when I didn’t immediately thank him for being the best person this side of the Mississippi. “You can pull your truck around back. I’ll get everything together to load up.”

“Sure thing. I’ll meet you both in the back.”

Sophia smiled again, putting her hand on his sleeve. “Thanks, Jordan.”

I actually rolled my eyes this time. Unfortunately, Jordan saw it—because of course he did—and he just grinned wider before departing. This day sucked.

Sophia showed me the way through the back of the store and into their warehouse, where cases of wine were stacked nearly to the ceiling. She opened a garage door, which let in a burst of cold air, and Jordan backed into the spot with his heavy-duty F-250. Who the hell knew why he needed a truck like that, but I couldn’t deny that it was a fine-ass truck…and he looked hot as fuck, jumping down out of the cab.

I never would have guessed that the guy I’d met in too-nice dress shoes from Vancouver would three years later be driving a lifted F-250. Texas sure owned a person.

“All right, what am I loading?” he asked.

Sophia walked briskly around the warehouse, pointing out how many cases of which wine I needed for the party. Jordan lifted the first load like it weighed nothing and set it into the back of his truck. I tried to pick up a case of wine and my back groaned in protest.

“Jesus,” I muttered, dropping it back down the inch I’d managed.

“I’d leave that for Jordan. They’re each about fifty pounds,” Sophia said.

“Yeah, I guess I’ll leave that for Jordan.” Not to be outdone, I kicked off my stupid shoes and hopped into the bed of his truck.

“What are you doing?” Jordan asked as he dropped down another case. “You’re going to freeze.”

“I’ll be fine.” I shoved against the case of wine and positioned it into place. Maybe I couldn’t lift the case, but I could make this go faster by shoving them into place. Plus, it kept my blood pumping, so I didn’t think about the cold. I just wanted to get this over with and not see Jordan Wright’s handsome face again for a very long time.

By the time we finished loading, I could barely feel my feet. I grabbed the slingback straps of my heels and nodded at Sophia.

“Nice doing business with you.”

“I’m so glad that we got this figured out,” she said. “Good luck with the person who put in the wrong order.”

“Oh, have no fear. He’s going to get an earful.”

Sophia laughed and held her hand out. “I hope we can work together in the future.”

“Likewise.”

We shook, and then I found Jordan waiting next to his truck. Right. I still had to deal with him.

“I’ll just, uh…follow you?” Jordan asked.

“Just head to Spirit Ranch. I’ll meet you there.”

He looked at me blankly. Right, he wasn’t from here.

“You have no idea what Spirit Ranch is, do you?”

“Should I?”

Fair question. He probably hadn’t been to a wedding in town. Or any number of other events that were held there. That wasn’t exactly his repertoire.

“Just meet me out front. You can follow me.”

“Sounds good.” He waved at Sophia. “Sorry about all of this. I’ll text you for the reschedule.”

She and nodded as he retreated. He hopped in his truck and veered off toward the entrance.

“Thanks again,” I told Sophia.

“Enjoy the wine.”

“Will do,” I told her. I trekked through the warehouse, back through the store, and out to the parking lot.

Which was the moment when I realized that I’d left my headlights on.

 

 

3

 

 

Jordan

 

 

I was going to have to make this up to Sophia. We’d been talking in circles for the last couple weeks to get together to discuss the new winery Julian and I were considering opening. This was the only night she’d had available, and here I was, doing a favor for Annie instead. Not that I particularly minded. Especially with the way Sophia had looked at me back there. I was beginning to think that she’d want dinner to make up for this mishap. And I had no interest in dinner with Sophia Valero. Strictly business for me.

I gritted my teeth and pulled into the parking lot in front of the Wine Boutique. Annie stood out front with her heels in one hand and her hair in the other. She looked like she was about to have a mental breakdown. I’d never seen her like this.

Not that we’d been on the best of terms since I’d moved to Lubbock. But this felt like a tipping point. She hadn’t even been able to hold back her eye roll in there. Usually, she was still cheery, bubbly Annie.

Not tonight.

I left the truck rumbling and stepped out onto the pavement. “Everything all right?”

She looked manic, and fuck if it didn’t draw me to her more. I remembered the first time I’d seen her in the coffee bar in Daisy Dukes. All wild passion and aggression. Her bright green eyes full of mirth and her body promising seduction. I still saw that Annie when I looked at her sometimes, but she reserved that person for others. Not me. Not anymore.

“I left…my fucking…lights on.”

“Oh fuck,” I said as she darted for the front seat.

I rushed after her, hoping that she hadn’t been here long enough to do any kind of damage. She fumbled with the key a few times before getting it into the slot. Then she pushed it forward with a look of desperate hope on her face.

The engine clicked a few times. It seemed as desperate as Annie to get going, but it never turned over. Just kept trying to force the battery to do its job and failing.

She beat her hands against the steering wheel. A scream erupted out of her chest. I winced at the pure rage seething from her in the car. It was almost something that I shouldn’t witness. I’d seen Annie angry, of course, but not like this.

I backed away slowly, giving her a minute alone. I would have gone in search of jumper cables, but I knew that I didn’t have them. I’d been driving a Tesla before this. I’d finally caved in the last two weeks and bought the truck. Before moving to Lubbock, I never would have considered getting a huge truck, but I already loved it. My friends back home wouldn’t even recognize me.

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